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555 Thomas Cook stores to be bought by rival agency

Hays Travel has acquired 555 stores from Thomas Cook and is expected to retain “a significant number” of employees, the company revealed. This measure is intended to contain some of the economic damage from the collapse of the 178-year-old company, the oldest travel agency in the United Kingdom, at the end of September.

“Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand that has employed talented people. We look forward to working with many of them,” said John and Irene Hays, director and chairwoman of Hays Travel, cited by The Guardian.

According to Hays Travel, which also operates Just Go Travel, 421 former Thomas Cook employees have already been hired.

On the side of KPMG and Thomas Cook, the decision was seen as “extremely positive”. “It provides significant opportunities for rehiring a significant number of workers and secures the future of retail locations across the UK.”

Hays Travel says it intends to reopen stores “with immediate effect and where possible with up to 2500 people.” About 100 are expected to work at the company’s headquarters in Sunderland, in the north of England, and the rest will be scattered throughout the rest of the country.

Hays Travel was created in 1980, in the back of John Hays’ mother’s clothing store. The business has grown to 190 stores in the UK today, employing 1,700 people and has revenues of € 1.14 billion a year. With this transaction, it triples in size.